Game Analysis: Rainbow Six: Siege


I am going to analyze Rainbow Six: Siege as it’s a game I am very familiar with and I have a lot of insight into the game, whether it be high level competition or casual, leisurely playing.

Game Play Analysis

Formal Elements

The Basics

Name of the game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
The platform PC
Time played (should be at least 30 minutes) ~1000 hours
If you could work on this game (change it), what would you change and why? I would change some maps, the way some operators (characters) work, and I would add some game modes.


How many players are supported? 10, 5v5
Does it need to be an exact number? yes
How does this affect play? makes it very hard for one side to win if it’s missing a player
Some types of player frameworks:

  • Single Player – like Solitare.
  • Head-to-head – 1 vs. 1, Chess.
  • PvE – Player vs. Environment, or multiple players vs. the game. Common in MMOs like World of Warcraft.
  • One against Many – Single-player vs. multiple (obvy).
  • Free-for-all – Every man for himself (1 vs. 1 vs. 1 vs. 1..). Most common for multiplayer games, from Monopoly to Modern Warfare.
  • Individuals Against the System – Like Blackjack, where the Dealer is playing against multiple players, but those players have no effect on each other.
  • Team Competition – Multiple vs. multiple, i.e. sports.
  • Predator-prey – Players form a circle and everyone’s goal is to attack the player on their left and defend themselves from the player on their right.
  • Five-pointed Star – Eliminate both players who are not on either side of you.


What are the players trying to do? Defend or Defuse the bomb
Some common objectives include:

  • Capture/Destroy – Eliminate all your opponents pieces (Chess).
  • Territorial Acquisition – Control as much territory as you can, not necessarily harming other players (RISK).
  • Collection – Collect a certain number of objects throughout the game (Pokemon).
  • Solve – Solve a puzzle or crime (Clue).
  • Chase/race/escape – Anything where you are running towards or away from something (playground game Tag).
  • Spatial Alignment – Anything involving the positioning of elements (Tetris or Tic-Tac-Toe or that game at Cracker Barrel).
  • Build – Advance your characters or build your resources to a certain point (The Sims).
  • Negation of another goal – The game ends if you perform an act that is forbidden by the rules (Jenga or Twister).


There are three categories of (what the book Rules of Play calls) operational rules:

  • Setup – the things you do at the beginning of a game.
  • Progression of Play – what happens during the game.
  • Resolution – How an outcome is determined based on the game state.


What controls are used? Basic movement keys, plus some additional for leaning and utility usage.
Was there a clear introductory tutorial? Yes, there are some small tutorials called situations that show you the basics.
Were they easy to understand or did you find yourself spamming the controller? Recoil is intense but otherwise it’s straightforward, although I personally fat finger a lot and press the wrong button.

Resources & Resource Management

What kinds of resources do players control? Each player has a certain amount of gadgets that change on which character they pick that can counter play the other players gadgets.
How are they maintained during play? You use it when you need it.
What is their role? Very important its almost impossible for the attackers to win if they don’t use their gadgets to force out the defenders
A resource is everything under the control of a single player. Could be the money in Monopoly or health in WoW. Other examples are:

  • Territory in RISK The number of questions remaining in 20 Questions Objects picked up during videogames (guns, health packs, etc.)
  • Time (game time, real-time, or both)
  • Known information (like suspects in Clue)

Game State

How much information in the game state is visible to the player? Basic HUD plus some unique things to the game such as what gadgets you have left.
A snapshot of the game at a single point is the game state. The resources you have, the un-owned properties in Monopoly, your opponent’s Archery skill all count towards the game state. Some example information structures are:

  • Total Information – Nothing is hidden, like Chess.
  • Info per player – Your hand of cards is only visible to you.
  • One player has privileged info – Like a Dungeon Master.
  • The game hides info from all players – Like Clue, where no one knows the victory condition.
  • Fog of War – In video games, where certain sections of the map are concealed if you do not have a unit in sight range of that area. You also cannot see other players’ screens, so each player is unaware of the other’s information.


In what order do players take their actions? It starts with the prep phase for the defenders to prepare for the attackers, but while that’s going on the attackers use little remote-controlled drones to scout out what the defense is doing, and then they attack.
How does play flow from one action to another? It all depends on how you start your attack.
Some structures include:

  • Turn-based – Standard board game technique.
  • Turn-based with simultaneous play – where everyone takes their turn at the same time (like writing something down or putting a card down in War).
  • Real-time – Actions happen as fast as players can make them. Action-based video games.
  • Turn-based and time limits – You have this long to take your turn.

Player Interaction

Some examples:

  • Direct Conflict – I attack you.
  • Negotiation – If you support me here, I’ll help you there.
  • Trading – I’ll give you this for that.
  • Information Sharing – If you go there, I’m warning you, a trap will go off.

Theme & Narrative

Does it have an actual story structure? Kind of, there’s no campaign or story mode but with certain events we can get a little insight into the story line.
Is it based on a historical event (or similar)? There are some maps and character names based off events.
Does the theme or narrative help you know how to play? No
Does it have emotional impacts? No
Also, look for en media res (does it start in the middle of the game)? No

The Elements in Motion

How do the different elements interact? Creates a very unique game
What is the gameplay like? Fast-paced and harsh
Is it effective? Yes
Are there any points where the design choices break down? Sometimes

Design Critique

Why did the designer make these particular choices? Its all about counterplay and weaknesses so that one character can nullify another’s
Why this set of resources?
What if they made different decisions? It would be a whole different game
Does the design break down at any point? Sometimes

Graphics & Sound

Does the game art pair well with the mechanics? Yes
Did you find any bugs or glitches? Yes
What about sound? Its spotty at times.
Can you spot any technical shortcuts? Yes

Various Stages of the Game

To wrap up, some things to keep in mind (as if there aren’t enough already) as you play:
What challenges do you face, and how do you overcome them? Well most of the challenges are just other players being better than you really and the only way to overcome that is an organized strategy or get better at aiming.
Is the game fair? Its defender sided, but you can use finesse and skill to win
Is it replayable? Are there multiple paths to victory or optional rules that can change the experience? Yes not once in my over 1000 hours have I gotten bored with it.
What is the intended audience? Teenagers
What is the core, the one thing you do over and over, and is it fun? The core thing is shooting, yes it’s fun

This analysis form was adapted from


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